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IPL preview: Kolkata, Mumbai in must-win situation

Last updated on: May 13, 2014 15:27 IST

IPL preview: Kolkata, Mumbai in must-win situation

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High on confidence after beating table-toppers Kings XI Punjab in their previous game, Kolkata Knight Riders will look to continue the winning momentum when they take on defending champions Mumbai Indians in their Indian Premier League match in Cuttack, on Wednesday.

The last time the two sides faced off in the tournament opener in the United Arab Emirates, the Knight Riders came out triumphant.

The Kolkata outfit, though, has been struggling to find its feet in the ongoing tournament, but back-to-back victories, especially against a strong Punjab side at this very venue, must have done its confidence a world of good.

KKR, who are placed fourth in the points' table with four wins and five loses in nine games, will certainly go all out for a victory which will brighten their chances of making the play-off stage.

Kolkata's batting clicked against both Delhi Daredevils and Punjab, with underfire skipper Gautam Gambhir leading from the front, striking a couple of superb half-centuries to guide the team to victory.

Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey also made significant contributions in the last two games and will be looking to continue with their good recent run.

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Image: Kolkata Knight Riders players celebrate victory.
Photographs: BCCI

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Chawla, Morkel excelled with the ball against Punjab

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The bowlers will also draw confidence form the fact that they restricted Punjab's marauding batsmen to a mere 149 for eight.

Kolkata's decision to include Morne Morkel and Piyush Chawla in the playing eleven against Punjab paid huge dividends, as they picked five wickets for 49 runs in eight overs between them.

While leg-spinner Piyush Chawla (3-19) bowled brilliantly in the middle overs, pacer Morne Morkel (2-20) did his job to perfection with the new ball.

With mystery spinner Sunil Narine around, Mumbai Indians will definitely be wary of Kolkata's bowling.

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Image: Morne Morkel (left) celebrates a wicket with his team mates.
Photographs: BCCI

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Mumbai need to win to keep hopes alive

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Defending champions Mumbai, with just three victories from nine games so far, are well aware that they have to win all their remaining matches to keep their hopes alive in the tournament.

They will take inspiration from the convincing seven-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad, in Hyderabad, on Monday.

Mumbai started with five losses on the trot in the first leg in the UAE, but have since won three of their last four matches.

Youngsters CM Gautam and Lendl Simmons have boosted Mumbai's batting with quickfire starts, while Ambati Rayudu also got going after a slow start.

Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard have also chipped in with vital knocks in the last few games to keep them in contention for the play-offs.

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Image: Lendl Simmons
Photographs: BCCI

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Mumbai hoping Malinga, Harbhajan continue good form

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As far as their bowling is concerned, Zaheer Khan's absence has hurt Mumbai, but if the likes of Lasith Malinga, Praveen Kumar, Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha manage to fire in unison, the hosts could face some serious trouble.

Both Malinga and Harbhajan are in great form; the experienced duo have not only keeping the runs down but also taken wickets at crucial times.

It is a must-win situation for both teams with Mumbai needing to win their last four games to stay in contention, while a defeat for KKR will dent their chances of progressing to the play-offs.

Teams:

Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Sunil Narine, Jacques Kallis, Robin Uthappa, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, Umesh Yadav, Vinay Kumar, Morne Morkel, Piyush Chawla, Manish Pandey, Veer Pratap Singh, Chris Lynn, Andre Russell, SS Mandal, Pat Cummins, Debabrata Das, Suryakumar Yadav, Manvinder Bisla, Ryan ten Doeschate, Kuldeep Yadav.

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (captain), Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard, Harbhajan Singh, Ambati Rayudu, Michael Hussey, Pragyan Ojha, Corey Anderson, Praveen Kumar, Josh Hazlewood, CM Gautam, Aditya Tare, Apoorv Wankhade, Marchant de Lange, Krishmar Santokie, Ben Dunk, Pavan Suyal, Sushant Marathe, Jasprit Bumrah, Shreyas Gopal and Lendl Simmons.


Image: Lasith Malinga
Photographs: BCCI

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